the debut of “The Son”second feature film by the renowned French director and screenwriter Florian Zeller in Venice was marked by praise for the performance of the Australian actor Hugh Jackman. Jackman’s performance is already seen as a big bet for the best actor category in the 95th Annual Awards sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – Oscars 2023.
Correspondence to the Brazilian portal Earththe reporter Daniel Medeiros reported that the Oscar winner for best supporting actress Laura Dern was also very revered after the film session, with the cast and director Florian Zeller standing ovation for 10 minutes by the audience. Medeiros describes that visibly moved, Jackman hugged the young man Zen McGrathwho plays her son, amidst ovation.
It may sound presumptuous, but even Jackman is already considering his future second Oscar nomination. The actor came to that conclusion after reading Zeller’s script, saying it was “a feeling like a fire in my stomach, it was a compulsion,” he said during the press conference on Wednesday (7/9). “A feeling you rarely get as an actor: this role is for you and you should play it.”
During the interview, Jackman revealed that after reading the script came the feeling of fear. The fear, Jackman admitted, was that he wouldn’t get the part, so he emailed Zeller directly. “I said, I don’t know if you’re dancing with anyone about this, and I don’t want to get in the way of that dance.”
The fear vanished when Zeller confirmed he wasn’t after any other actors, and a subsequent Zoom meeting with Jackman immediately confirmed the director was in the role.
“After 8 minutes, I offered him the role,” Zeller explained. “I felt something very strong about why he was connected to this story and that we could explore really emotional territories. And it was the best decision I ever made, because from there it was the most fruitful journey.”
On the role, Jackman pointed out that his work on the film was so profound that it changed the way he views his own fatherhood. “For many, many years as a parent, my job was to look strong and dependable, and never look worried, because I didn’t want to overwhelm my kids,” he said. “But since starring in this movie I’ve changed my approach. I share my vulnerabilities more with my 17 and 22 year olds and see their relief when I do” (via Earth).
According to Jackman, “The film really shows how isolated people become, especially around mental health issues. There is shame, there is guilt, there is an intense desire to make things right. To understand and empathize with the people around you, put yourself in their shoes and be honest. I hope the movie starts dialogues, I hope the movie reminds us never to worry alone” (for Earth).
The feature film is based on the eponymous play by Zeller that he adapted with Christopher Hamptonand comes after the huge success of “The father” with Anthony Hopkinswho is also in the new movie. Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern and Vanessa Kirby star in the production.
The Sony Pictures Classics drama is expected to rock the awards race with bows in Venice and Toronto. It’s too early to say but, “The Son” could be Jackman’s opportunity to land his second Oscar nomination for Best Actor – previously nominated for “Les Miserables”2012 -, Kirby and Dern can compete for a spot in the Best Supporting Actress category.
According to the official synopsis, the plot of the film revolves around Peter, a guy who lives a busy life with his new partner and their baby. But his routine is shaken by the arrival of his ex-wife with their teenage son, Nicholas. The young man is distraught, distant and angry, missing school for months. As Peter strives to be a better father, looking to help his son, the weight of Nicholas’ condition sets the family on a dangerous path.
After its premiere in Venice, “The Son” is scheduled to be released in the US on November 11. Before that, the film will have its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.